Wednesday, Oct 05, 2022

PM Modi Urges For A Productive Monsoon Session As Govt Lines Up 32 Bills In Parliament

Speaking with reporters, PM Narendra Modi said Parliament functions and takes best decisions with everyone's 'prayaas' (efforts) and urged parliamentarians to must make full use of this session.

Parliament Building
Parliament Building PTI

Ahead of the start of Parliament's Monsoon Session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday urged MPs to hold deep discussions and make the session as fruitful and productive as possible.

Speaking with reporters, Modi said Parliament functions and takes best decisions with everyone's 'prayaas' (efforts) and urged parliamentarians to must make full use of this session.

This Session is also important because elections for the office of President and Vice President are taking place, he said.

During this period, the new President and Vice President will begin guiding the nation, Modi said.

The prime minister said there should be dialogue in Parliament with an open mind.

The Monsoon Session of Parliament commences on Monday and subject to exigencies of government business, it will conclude on August 12. 

Opposition to raise issues of economy, security, federal structure in par

Previously, the Opposition was raring to corner the government on a host of issues including related to economy, security, federal structure and the Agnipath defence recruitment scheme during the Monsoon Session of Parliament beginning Monday.

The row over listing unparliamentary words and circulars disallowing any protest and dharna on the Parliament complex has already set the temperatures soaring, with both the Opposition and the government targeting each other at a pre-session all-party meeting Sunday.

The government while accusing the Opposition of rasing "non-issues" said it was ready to discuss all matter within parliamentary rules and regulations, and sought the cooperation of all parties for a smooth session.

Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu also sought the cooperation of all parties and said a good monsoon session would be a "farewell gift" for him.

32 Bills to be discussed

The government said it will bring 32 bills during the session, of which 14 are ready. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi asserted the government wants discussions on all of them in a democratic way.

After the all-party meeting, Joshi also said some of these bills have already been discussed by standing committees of Parliament.

"Thirty-two bills have been indicated by various departments for being presented in this session of Parliament, of which 14 bills are ready, but we will not pass the bills without discussions," he told reporters.

Leaders of various Opposition parties demanded that issues of price rise, 'Agnipath' scheme as well as the alleged misuse of investigative agencies be taken up, and also raised objections to the list of "unparliamentary words" at the all-party meeting convened by the government.

Sources said the leaders were unanimous in their demand for the immediate withdrawal of the Agnipath scheme and called for a discussion on important issues like price rise and the status of the economy.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge asked how 32 bills, lined up by the government, will get passed in 14 days in Parliament and said, "What is the government is trying to do?"

 "We raised 13 issues including price rise, Agnipath, attack on the federal structure of the country and misuse of investigative agencies such as ED and CBI," Kharge told reporters after the meeting.

He said these include "attacks on federal structure, the Agnipath scheme for army recruitment, DHFL bank fraud, uncontrolled inflation, rising unemployment, fiscal and rupee value crisis and hate speech".

He also referred to "rising crimes" in Jammu and Kashmir and attacks on Kashmiri Pandits, "collapse of autonomous bodies and constitutional institutions, external threat to national security-Chinese incursion and foreign policy failures, illegal demolition of homes of minorities, undemocratic attack on Congress leaders, and amendment to Forest Conservation Rules".

The Congress reiterated its strong belief in the smooth conduct of business of the House, so that issues of public interest can be raised and addressed, he said, adding more time should be devoted to non-government business in form of Short Duration Discussions, Calling Attention motions, special mentions.

Leaders from almost all parties including Congress' Mallikarjun Kharge, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Jairam Ramesh, DMK's TR Baalu and Tiruchi Siva, TMC's Sudeep Bandyopadhyay and NCP's Sharad Pawar, besides BJD's Pinaki Misra, YSRCP's Vijaysai Reddy, TRS' Keshav Rao, RJD's AD Singh and Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut were present.

The government was represented by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who is also the deputy leader of the Lok Sabha, his cabinet colleague and leader of the house in Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi.

Ramesh raised strong objections over the absence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the meeting.

IUML leader E T Mohammed Basheer said every opposition party raised the issue of Agnipath, price rise and the row over the words listed in a new booklet by the Lok Sabha Secretariat that will be considered "unparliamentary".

Pinaki Misra came out in support of Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla over the issue, saying he was "unfairly targeted" as listing out such words has been a routine practice in Parliament.

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader also pressed for the passage of the women's reservation bill besides demanding a legislative council for Odisha, where the party is in power for many years now.

DMK's TR Baalu and AIADMK's Thambidurai also raised the Sri Lankan crisis and said India should intervene to settle the issue.

Pralhad Joshi said the government will convene an all-party meeting on the Sri Lanka issue and union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and S Jaishankar would brief all parties on Tuesday.

He also hit out at the opposition and accused them of belittling Parliament by raising "non-issues".

Condemning the Opposition for creating a row over unparliamentary words and circulars issued in routine for the past several years, he said such a practice is being carried on since 1954, when the first such list was brought out, and the opposition was doing so as it was devoid of any issues against the government.

On criticism over the absence of the PM, he said, "The PM never attended all-party meetings before 2014 when the Congress was in power. It was his good gesture to do this from 2014. They are trying to make an issue that is a non-issue. Our senior colleague Rajnath Singh and deputy leader of the house chaired the meeting," he said.

(With PTI Inputs)